DOL publishes federal contractors paid sick leave proposal

Changes will affect posting requirement

Posted February 29, 2016

The Department of Labor published a proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13706, Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, in the February 25 Federal Register.

The executive order, signed by President Barack Obama on September 7, 2015, requires certain parties that contract with the Federal Government to provide their employees with up to seven days of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave allowing for family care.

The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations by September 30, 2016, to implement the requirements.

The proposed rule defines terms, describes the categories of contracts and employees the order covers and excludes from coverage, sets forth requirements and restrictions governing the accrual and use of paid sick leave, and prohibits interference with or discrimination for the exercise of rights under the executive order.

It also describes the obligations of contracting agencies, the Department of Labor, and contractors under the executive order, and it establishes the standards and procedures for complaints, investigations, remedies, and administrative enforcement proceedings related to alleged violations of the order.

Notice requirement

Under the proposed rule, covered federal contractors will be required to display a paid sick leave posting beginning January 1, 2017.

Covered contractors would be required to notify all employees performing work on or in connection with a covered contract of the paid sick leave requirements. The notice would need to be posted in a prominent and accessible place at the worksite so it may be readily seen by all employees. It may be posted electronically by contractors that customarily post notices electronically, provided the posting is displayed prominently on any website that is maintained by the contractor.

The paid sick leave requirements would apply to new contracts that are:

  • A procurement contract for construction covered by the Davis-Bacon Act.
  • A contract for services covered by the Service Contract Act.
  • A contract for concessions.
  • A contract in connection with federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

The proposed regulations do not apply to contracts for the manufacturing or furnishing of materials, supplies, or equipment to the Federal Government that are subject to the Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act.

Under the proposal, a “new” federal contract is one that results from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017, or that is awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2017. A contract entered into before January 1, 2017, will be considered to be a “new” contract if:

  • The contract is renewed.
  • The contract is extended, unless the extension is made pursuant to a term in the contract as of December 31, 2016, providing for a short-term limited extension.
  • The contract is amended under a modification that is outside the scope of the contract.

Interested parties may submit comments on the proposal by March 28, 2016. Comments may be submitted to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, identified by Regulatory Information Number 1235-AA13.

Poster information provided by Terri Dougherty of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.


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